Two and a half percent of the United States is vegan. The consumption of meat and animal based products has been declining for the past 20 years. (1)
Sixteen million people in the United States are vegan!
Sixteen million people in the country eat no animal products at all. Forty-two percent of those who do not eat animal products, made this transition after watching an educational film. Sixty-nine percent chose the vegan diet in order to support the ethical treatment of animals. (2)
For some people, they are surprised to hear the many foods that vegans give up in order to avoid consumption of animal products. Marshmallows and gummy bears contain gelatin derived from skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows and pigs. (3)
Foods like marshmallows and gummy bears are made of skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of cows and pigs!
Soon vegans may be able to enjoy vegan friends treats and even jello thanks to a new start up company, Gelzen. The San Francisco based company is founded by partners Alex Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov Lorestani. They were in a physician-scientist training program and learned about the growing risk of infectious disease due to antibiotic resistant bacteria fueled by the rise of antibiotic use in factory farms. (3)
Ouzounov, a vegetarian, became frustrated but the lack of animal-free gelatin alternatives. The company now makes gelatin from scratch by programming microbes to build it for them. Gelzen’s gelatin is cruelty-free, sustainable and safer for human consumption. (3)
San Francisco based starter company is making vegan friendly gelatin out of microbes!
Ouzounov shares, “We have taken the machinery that builds collagen in animals, and moved it into microbes. These microbes can produce animal-free gelatin at massive scales. Building gelatin from scratch also eliminates the risk of pathogens that can be transmitted from animal material to humans, greatly improves the efficiency of protein production by using fewer land and water inputs, and allows us to precisely engineer its key properties like stiffness.” (3)
The company is now focusing on increasing production and making prototypes for customer testing. They have found great support within the vegan community and are hoping to deliver cruelty-free gelatin to vegans world-wide soon! (3)